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Indiana State's 7th annual Power of Reading summit

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - State educators are addressing reading rate issues in Hoosier students. It was one of the main focuses of this year's annual reading summit Indiana State University. 

Local educators gathered on ISU's campus to listen to experts inform new techniques for students struggling with reading.

Monday morning marked the seventh annual Power of Reading at Indiana State University. This year the summit educated hundreds of Indiana teachers on new learning techniques on foundational subjects. 

There were 230 educators in attendance with over 500 joining on live stream. 

Melanie Beaver, a curriculum director at South vermillion, spoke on the importance of teaching students how to read properly. 

"So, we know that children do not learn to read on their own," she said. "They can learn to walk, they can learn to speak on their own, but reading is not a natural event in the brain so you have to know about the brain science and know how to teach it correctly." 

According to the Indiana Department of Education every 1-in-5 students leaves third grade unable to read. 

Wyley Blevins, educational researcher and consultant, was one of the experts speaking at the event. He explained why teaching a child to read is so crucial. 

"I always say that I think giving the gift of reading is one of the greatest gifts we can give children," he said. "Because it is a gift that's once given can never be taken away but will forever transform their lives." 

Blevins says that events like this are important and something that educators must take seriously. 

"What teachers do is transformative," he said. "They open up the world of possibility for children so it is a huge honor to be able to give that gift to children, but an enormous responsibility to do it right and do it well." 

Beaver says the opportunity to learn how to help her students was too good to pass up. 

"Teachers know that they are driven to be life-long learnings," she said. "This opportunity to continue professionally developing yourself has an immediate impact in the classroom and on students." 

If you missed Monday's summit and want to attend Tuesday's event you can still do so. All visitors are welcome and the event is completely free. 

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